23 Offbeat Destinations in India to Put on Your Radar for 2023

The year 2023 has finally arrived, and it’s time to update your travel bucket list. Our 23 best places to visit in 2023 are a mix of old favourites worth revisiting and lesser-known. Some of these places are even once-forbidden regions eager to welcome visitors. Yet they are all linked by highly anticipated new offerings and evolutions. There’s something here for everyone, whether you’re looking for extraordinary excursions through ancient rainforests, blossoming historic sites, or exquisite offbeat destinations to soak up the tranquillity.

We also believe that there is more that connects these places than divides them. An opportunity for deeper engagement with local communities, slower travel, and more meaningful—and joyful—human connection. What better way to express our hopes for the coming year? We hope this year’s roster helps you navigate the country in the way that’s most meaningful to you. So here are some recommendations from travel experts who know these places best. Whether you’re looking for adventure or a relaxing retreat, we’re confident you’ll find offbeat destinations for 2023 that suit you on this list.

1. Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Khajjiar

Khajjiar, a deodar-enveloped saucer-shaped Himalayan town in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba Valley, is famous for its pristine picture-postcard environs, abundant greenery, and abundance of adventure activities. The extravagant beauty of Khajjiar captures the main characteristics of the region’s topography. This includes the massive Western Himalayan Alps and a brook-fed lake, all of which end in the Dhauladhar range’s foothills. Book a cab from Noida to Khajjair for a safe and comfortable commute.

2. Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Tarangambadi

Tharangambadi, also known as the land of the singing wave, has remained untouched by time and is famous for its tranquillity. The tiny beach town in Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district was built in the 14th century. It was formerly known as Tranquebar and was a Danish colony. To learn everything there is to know about Tharangambadi, click here to read an in-depth travel guide. It is a beautiful cultural playpen located on a dreamy patch at the confluence of the Kaveri river and the Bay of Bengal. Soak in the tranquiity by booking a cab from Chennai to Tharangambadi.

3. Majuli, Assam

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Majuli

Majuli is a river island in Assam’s Brahmaputra River. It is the world’s largest inhabited river island. It was also the first island in India to be designated as a district. The rivers Brahmaputra in the south and Subansiri in the north. To learn everything there is to know about Majuli, click here to read an in-depth travel guide. It is also home to the Sattriya culture, which has played an important role in bringing together different ethnic groups in the region since the 15th century through the spread of Neo-Vaishnavism and its cultural traditions.

4. Yumthang Valley, Sikkim

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Yumthang

Yumthang Valley, also known as the Sikkim Valley of Flowers, is a nature sanctuary in the North Sikkim district of Sikkim state, India, with rivers, hot springs, yaks, and grazing pasture on rolling meadows surrounded by Himalayan mountains. It is popularly known as “The Valley of Flowers,” and it is home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, which has over twenty-four species of the state flower, the rhododendron. From late February to mid-June, countless flowers bloom, carpeting the valley in multicoloured hues of the rainbow.

5. Yousmarg, Jammu and Kashmir

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Yusmarg

Yousmarg, also called the Meadows of Jesus, is known for its long stretches of green pastures and is located in the Budgam district. Some believe that Jesus walked across the valley while visiting Kashmir. Yousmarg is a proud part of the Valley of Kashmir and an ideal tourist attraction that teaches us to revere nature in the most humble of ways. Set out on trails that will take you to exotic locations such as Sang-e-Safed Valley and Nilnag. Away from the mundane, Yusmarg is a little paradise in its own right.

6. Kongthong, Meghalaya

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Kongthong

Kongthong is about a three-hour drive from Shillong and is nestled among the lush green East Khasi hills. The village of around 900 people is known as the “whistling village of India.” Wondering why? The names of the villagers here have tunes. Aside from the unspoiled natural beauty, the unique tradition draws visitors to Kongthong. A newborn is given both a regular name and a tune by the residents of this village. We don’t know what will entice you to visit the place if they call each other with these unique tunes.

7. Daringbadi, Odisha

offbeat destinations for 2023- Daringbadi

Daringbadi is a small and peaceful hill station in Odisha’s Kandhamal district. It is known as the Kashmir of Odisha because of its lush, hilly terrain, chilly winters, and pleasant climate all year. Dotted with pine forests, coffee plantations, and beautiful valleys, the town is rich in natural beauty and makes an ideal summer retreat for visitors. To learn everything there is to know about Daringbadi, click here to read an in-depth travel guide. This location is also home to one of India’s oldest ethnic tribes, making this destination an eclectic mix of nature and culture.

8. Sandakphu, West Bengal 

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Sandakphu

Sandakphu is primarily a trekking destination in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district’s Singalila National Park. Nature is at its most pristine here; it embodies the wild elemental grandeur of the snow, and the view at the top is well worth the effort. The “Sleeping Buddha” peak, which offers stunning views of the Kanchenjunga range, is a vantage point from which one can see four of the world’s five highest peaks – Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, and Lhotse – in a continuous snow-clad arc, which is why it is aptly named the Trekkers’ Paradise.

9. Ponmudi, Kerala

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Ponmudi

Ponmudi town is a tiny hill station 56 kilometres northeast of Trivandrum, nestled among alluring valleys and massive hills. Popularly known as Trivandrum’s local Ooty, the location provides breathtaking views of the mountains from almost every vantage point. From the tranquil local villages to the massive tea gardens, rubber and cardamom plantations, and small cottages, this place has it all. Ponmudi, an enchanting hilly abode running parallel to the Arabian Sea, is also well-known as an adventure destination.

10. Shekhawati, Rajasthan

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Shekhawati

The Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan welcomes you with beautifully painted Havelis, colourful murals, and grand mansions. It is a treasure of history, heritage, and architecture, nestled in the northeast corner of the royal state. The artistic plethora of frescoes and castles transports you to the glory days of Rajputana. Shekhawati is a semi-arid retreat filled with open-air galleries, enthralling Havelis and palaces, and legendary forts. This region has been designated as the “open art gallery of Rajasthan,” with the world’s highest concentration of frescoes.

11. Shojha, Himachal Pradesh

Shojha is a very small village located right in the middle of the Himalayan mountain range and the wilderness of the surrounding forest. Because not many people have set foot in this small village, it has retained its beauty and view. Shojha appeared in the well-known Bollywood film Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Shojha, with its gently undulating hills and lush greenery all around, is a pristine, undisturbed, and pure destination and one of the most offbeat destinations for 2023.

12. Champaner, Gujarat

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Champaner

Anyone who has seen the enormously successful Oscar-nominated Hindi film Lagaan will recognise the name Champaner. Champaner, in the Indian state of Gujarat, is an interesting offbeat destination. During the late 1400s, Champaner flourished as the vibrant capital of Pavagadh under the rule of the Chauhan Rajputs. The area is a historical feast, complete with the ruins of a fortress, numerous mosques, temples, tombs, and step-wells. It was the first site in Gujarat to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. The monuments here are a one-of-a-kind synthesis of Hindu and Islamic architecture.

13. Netarhat, Jharkhand

offbeat destinations for 2023 - Netarhat

Netarhat, surrounded by verdant forests, natural springs, and low hills, is one of Jharkhand’s best-kept secrets. Located in the heart of the state, this charming hill station offers visitors a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of cities. This hill station was built by former British rulers who adored the area and its tranquillity. Netarhat is best known for its sunrise and sunset views, particularly during the summer, making it one of the best offbeat destinations for 2023. Travelling by road from Ranchi to Netarhat will take you through seven hills and more than 96 miles.

14. Unakoti, Tripura

Unakoti

Unakoti is a chiselled marvel that is hidden in plain sight. An ancient stone gate opens into massive stone and rock sculptures carved out of a hillside 178 kilometres from Agartala in Tripura’s Unakoti district. Many of the rock carvings here depict Lord Shiva’s life as well as other scenes from Hindu mythology. Sculptures of the Nandi Bull, Lord Ram, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman, and Lord Ganpati can also be found here. Due to the terrain and natural offerings of the area, Unakoti is also a good place for hiking, trekking, and other activities.

15. Chatpal, Kashmir

Because popular destinations such as Gulmarg and Srinagar usually steal all the attention, Chatpal remains an untouched beauty devoid of commercialisation. It is a completely isolated location that the government has only recently discovered as a potential tourist destination. Endowed with lush green forests, lofty mountains, melodious springs teeming with milky white water gushing down the mountainous terrain, and a serene atmosphere that provides a welcome respite from the chaos of cities, making it one of the best offbeat destinations for 2023. The skies are clear blue, which is washed by the sun’s fiery red in the evenings. The breathtaking scenery can only be justified by describing it as a fairytale vacation in the Himalayas.

16. Namsai, Arunachal Pradesh

Namsai

This lesser-known town should be on your list because of its grand pagodas, ancient monasteries, scenic beauty, and friendly people. The landscape of Namsai is characterised by lush paddy fields, gurgling rivers, gleaming pagodas, traditional bamboo houses, and inviting tea plantations. Namsai is home to the Tai Khampti and Singpho tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, as well as the famous Golden Pagoda, the state’s top tourism hotspot and an ideal location for an offbeat family vacation.

17. Bidar, Karnataka

Bidar

Bidar is a small district in northern Karnataka with a rich historical past. This district includes the original capital of Rashtrakuta as well as Basavakalyan, formerly known as Kalyani. It was the capital of the Kalachuris and the Western Chalukyas. In contrast, Bidar is well known as a magnificent medieval metropolis and the capital of the Bahmani and Barid Shahi kingdoms. The fort, cannons, ruins of palaces, magnificent tombs, and massive monuments all combine to make it one of the best offbeat destinations for 2023.

18. Osian, Rajasthan

Osian

Osian is a desert town known for its dramatic landscapes and glittering dunes. It is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations due to the vast layers of sand, desert plants, and gushing wind. The remote desert life can be experienced here, which is located on the outskirts of the Thar desert. Due to the abundance of magnificent temples known for their architectural splendour and stunning design, Osian City is also known as the Khajuraho of Rajasthan. Camping under the stars in the Thar Desert is an adrenaline-pumping activity you should try if you visit Osian City.

19. Andretta, Himachal Pradesh

Andretta, a peaceful village and artists’ colony in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra valley’s Palampur district, is only 13 kilometres from the tea gardens of Kangra valley Palampur district. Norah Richards, an Irish theatrical artist and environmentalist who moved here from Lahore in the 1920s, founded the artists’ community. Many artists have visited it since then because of its amazing atmosphere and artistic collections. Many art enthusiasts have admired Andretta’s pottery work, which makes it one of the best offbeat destinations for 2023. The Himalayas blanket this area, making it look like something out of a postcard.

20. Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh 

Gandikota

This small village in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district is home to a 300-foot-deep gorge known as the Grand Canyon of India. Kapa Raja built Gandikota, which translates roughly as “gorge fort,” on the picturesque Pennar river gorge in 1123. Gandikota is a stunning geological formation in India, with numerous narrow valleys and babbling streams running past the rocks, making it one of the best offbeat destinations for 2023.. Because of a more than 300-year-old local dynasty, the area is steeped in history. While the ancient fort and the Pennar River gorge are two of the most popular attractions here, there’s plenty more to see if you go beyond the obvious.

21. Gavi, Kerala 

Gavi

Gavi in Kerala is a must-see eco-tourism destination in India. It is a 40-kilometre drive from Kumily through breathtakingly beautiful roads through lush green tea plantations. It is well-known for its pristine natural beauty, which has remained untouched by mass tourism routes. Its verdant forests, rolling grasslands, and waterfalls give it a cinematic appeal and surreal beauty. The place is home to over 260 avian species, making it a haven for bird watchers and one of the best offbeat destinations for 2023.

22. St. Mary’s Islands, Karnataka

St Mary's Island

Coconut Island is a group of four small islands off the coast of Malpe in the Arabian Sea. The Geological Survey of India has designated these basalt rock formations as one of 34 National Geological Monuments in India. These formations formed millions of years ago when hot molten lava oozed from the Earth’s surface and was cooled by the waters of the Arabian Sea. These igneous rocks have a hexagonal shape due to the unique way these lavas are cooled. Though these islands are uninhabited, because tourists are permitted to visit them, security measures are in place to protect the environment and the visitors.

23. Mana, Uttarakhand

Mana

Mana is the final village on the Uttarakhand-Tibetan border, located 3 kilometres from Badrinath at an elevation of 3219 metres. On a clear night, Mana has beautiful blue skies and incredible views of shooting stars and the Milky Way. Mana is located on the banks of the Saraswati River and is the home of the Bhotias, also known as the Mongol tribe. The Mana village flourishes as India’s spiritual glory is full of enigmatic yet buoyant nature. The ‘Tourism Village’ in Uttarakhand State is surrounded by some of the most beautiful waterfalls, lakes, mountain peaks, and trekking routes in the world.

So where are you off to in 2023? Book a car rental to take you to one of these places or anywhere around India with a local driver—the sky’s the limit! Install the Savaari cab booking app to take advantage of special offers and discounts on outstation rentals.

About the author

Full-time writer. Part-time dreamer.

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